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Feature Story


Angel Aquino’s defined features and undeniable talent are taking her to new heights.


Angel Aquino sits in front of the mirror, not quite ready to have her makeup applied. “I’m sleepy,” she announces, sounding exhausted. She could’ve fooled us. Even with her face scrubbed clean and despite being tired, she still glows, which isn’t difficult when one has a face personally chiseled by the gods.

Versatile as host, actress, and model, Angel transitions from one role to the next with grace. She was never a superstar, in the showbiz sense of the word, but she has thrived in a realm not known for being too kind to 37-year-olds. Unless, of course, you already happen to have been a superstar in the first place.


Her 'lucky' start

Unlike most celebrities, Angel feels that she had it fairly easy at the beginning of her career. “Everything that I’m doing now, parang were given to me on a silver platter. … I remember, I didn’t have to go through the difficult stuff.”

With her bronze skin, ideal figure, and cheekbones to die for, Angel was a favorite of photographers and designers. During our cover shoot, both make-up artist Ricci Chan and photographer Sarah Black agreed that Angel always delivered. If your life depended on one great photo and you just have 10 frames, get Angel to pose, Ricci says.

But that doesn’t mean she was immediately in her best form. Not at all, she admits. “In the beginning, I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know how to smile. Sabi nila, ‘O, you say eyyy.’ Then, I just learned things along the way.”

She also learned how to act the same way.  She was grateful that she was given roles she could handle at the time, giving her the opportunity to learn “slowly but surely.” When hosting gigs came her way, she began to suspect her success had an element of luck to it. “I went to the auditions of F. My God, I was screwing up every line,” she recalls. F was the successful magazine show she hosted with news anchor Cher Calvin and former lifestyle reporter Daphne Oseña-Paez. It first aired in 1999 and ran for seven years. Today, Angel hosts Us Girls, an F-like spinoff, with Iya Villania and Cheska Garcia-Kramer.

“Thank goodness for education, I was taught how to speak properly. … Thank goodness to my Nanay who always motivated me ... whatever na dumating sa ‘yo, rise up to the challenge.”?

The rise of Vera

And rise she did. Very slowly, like dough. She was a visible blip in the radar, but not in a big way. That is, until the role of Vera Cruz came along. Angel took on the part of a model-turned-designer in the recently-ended Magkaribal, a soap about the intricate and dramatically politicized world of Philippine fashion.


Unlike many villains, Angel played hers with subtlety. She proved that she didn’t need to point a gun or hold a dagger to frighten anyone. She only had to lift a finger or crease her brows into a little frown to cause someone to run for his life. And yet, Angel also made viewers care about Vera, even when she hatched her often malicious ploys. The kudos surprise even Angel. “Every time people tell me that, I have to listen well because I don’t know what I’m doing right.”

Asked if playing Vera has changed her life, she replies, laughing, “Oh my God, dramatically! Now, my name is Vera, it’s no longer Angel. I don’t know if I should feel bad about it na parang, so Angel was what …? A has-been model?”

Far from being ungrateful, she just sometimes finds it hilarious how people have embraced Vera. “She’s a very spiteful person!”


On aging gracefully

To keep her skin young, Angel drinks plenty of water and keeps her face clean. She recalls what makeup artist Ricci advised her. “Sabi niya, ‘This shouldn’t come from a make-up artist, but whatever we put on your face is dust, it’s dirt.’”

“It’s foreign!” Ricci interjects, eavesdropping on our conversation.

“So sabi niya,” Angel continues, “’As soon as you’re done with work, you have to keep it out of your face or your skin.’” Angel doesn’t retouch the makeup that’s been applied on her either. She simply runs a clean brush around her face. “Kelangan mo lang naman siyang i-blend,” she says. “And then I always spray myself with facial mist, para it’s always refreshed and moist—at least man lang the top of your face.”

Aside from making sure she’s hydrated, Angel also credits her youthful glow to her diet. She makes it a point to incorporate more raw food into what she eats.  


For the full cover story, grab a copy of HealthToday December 2010-January 2011 issue and find out how Angel Aquino gracefully rises above the rest.

  • Photography | SARA BLACK
  • Makeup | RICCI CHAN
  • Styling | AJ ALBERTO
  • Clothes | H by G. LICAROS

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